Wyatt Langford made history in the ninth inning of Florida's comeback victory against Virginia on the opening night at the 2023 Men's College World Series.
Langford crushed a game-tying home run tracked at 456 feet, according to the official NCAA 2023 College World Series media notes. That distance surpasses Arkansas' Brady Slavens by 20 feet for the longest-tracked homer in Men's College World Series ballpark history at Charles Schwab Field Omaha (previously called TD Ameritrade Park) — unofficially. The stadium has hosted the tournament since opening in 2011.
Why is this record unofficial? We reached out to Jeff Williams, NCAA associate director of media coordination and statistics, back in 2019 to find out if the NCAA keeps historical records of the longest home runs hit at the College World Series. It turns out they don't. But thanks to ESPN, television home to the CWS since 2003, we have a pretty good idea of some of the other longest bombs.
ESPN has been tracking home run distance since the tournament's move from Rosenblatt Stadium to Charles Schwab Field Omaha in 2011. According to ESPN Stats & Information, here are the longest homers hit in the Men's College World Series since 2011:
|DATE||HITTER||SCHOOL||HR DISTANCE||OPPONENT||INNING||HR DIRECTION|
|6/16/23||Wyatt Langford||Florida||456 ft.||Virginia||9th||Left|
|6/25/23||Wyatt Langford||Florida||449 ft.||LSU||6th||Left|
|6/22/22||Brady Slavens||Arkansas||436 ft.||Ole Miss||5th||Center|
|6/25/23||BT Riopelle||Florida||435 ft.||LSU||9th||Center|
|6/16/19||Edouard Julien||Auburn||429 ft.||Mississippi State||2nd||Right|
|6/20/15||Pete Alonso||Florida||429 ft.||Virginia||2nd||Center|
|6/22/17||Brendan McKay||Louisville||428 ft.||TCU||4th||Right-center|
|6/21/16||Pete Alonso||Florida||425 ft.||Texas Tech||9th||Left|
|6/25/23||Ty Evans||Florida||423 ft.||LSU||2nd||Left|
|6/17/15||Pete Alonso||Florida||421 ft.||Miami (Fla.)||7th||Center|
|6/17/17||Dylan Busby||Florida State||421 ft.||LSU||1st||Center|
|6/17/19||Cameron Warren||Texas Tech||421 ft.||Arkansas||4th||Left|
Nine days after his record-setting blast, Langford went deep again for the second-longest MCWS homer in park history. This time, he was recorded at 449 feet on a wind-aided drive to left field in Game 2 of the championship series.
Before Langford, Slavens briefly held the record with his 2022 deep drive, becoming only the third player to hit a home run in any college game into the gap between seats in centerfield at Charles Schwab Field Omaha, joining Alonso and Busby from the MCWS list above.
Alonso has three of the longest homers on the list. His first big fly in the 2015 tournament registered at a projected distance of 421 feet to left field on a 93-mile per hour fastball from Miami righty Derik Beauprez on June 17, 2015. The ball landed about five rows deep, just to the left of the batter's eye in straightaway center.
“It’s the best feeling in the world,” Alonso said after that game. “Especially if you connect with one and it gets out of this park because historically the ball doesn’t travel well here, then its definitely a well-struck ball and to square up a baseball and have it go over the fence is the best feeling in the world.”
Just three days later, Alonso broke his own park record with that mammoth 429-foot shot against Virginia. This time, he jumped on a hanging breaking ball and launched it well beyond the 408-foot wall in centerfield.
The Gators would eventually lose that game to Virginia, 5-4, to fall one game short of reaching the CWS finals. But Alonso certainly left an impression in Omaha. And he wasn't done.
Florida returned for the 2016 College World Series, and Alonso continued to rake. Against Texas Tech in the ninth inning of an elimination game, he crushed a 425-foot two-run homer that nearly reached the concourse beyond the left-field stands.
That would be Alonso's final at-bat in a Gators uniform. He signed with the Mets as a second-round pick after Florida was eliminated by Texas Tech. In seven career MCWS games, Alonso finished with a .320 average (8-for-25), three home runs, five runs and nine RBIs.
The next longest CWS homer hit at TD Ameritrade Park behind Langford, Slavens, Julien and Alonso came off the bat of three-time John Olerud Award winner Brendan McKay.
McKay hit his 428-foot bomb — one foot short of the record — in his final collegiate game back in 2017. He finished 1-for-4 in Louisville's 4-3 elimination game loss to TCU.
“For me personally, it’s just another statistic,” McKay said back in 2017 at the postgame press conference. “But to hit a home run in the College World Series is awesome, on national TV in front of 20-some thousand people in the stands, it’s pretty awesome.”
It's noteworthy that all eight homers at the top of ESPN's list have come since 2015. A flat seam baseball — which travels off the bat further — was approved by the NCAA for use starting that season. This move was made to counter bat specifications changes in 2011 that led to a decrease in offensive production. Six total home runs were hit in 30 games at the 2013 and '14 College World Series.
HOMER HISTORY: A brief history of grand slams at the College World Series
The number of CWS home runs rose to 15 with the new ball in 2015 and closed at 10 in 2016. In 2017, 23 long balls were hit, shattering the new stadium's record (2011-current). That was topped in 2021, with 28 MCWS homers hit.